Social media can be used in a variety of ways. One of those involves the ability to freely discuss your personal life.
Most people utilize platforms like Facebook and Instagram to talk about things going on in their own worlds, especially about the people they’re dating. I’ve learned, after many, many years of doing this, that oversharing about your relationship on social media does more harm than good to your overall well-being.
I am someone who admittedly is looking to find the love of my life. There have been several times, over the past 15 years or so, where I thought I found them. A lot of my interactions with past guys that I’ve dated and fallen in love with has been posted about on social media to let my friends know about our progress. It sounds so pathetic when I think about it now, but I shared the same “I found the one” social media update on a number of occasions that I now look back on with embarrassment and regret.
It’s the sad world that we live in, where a like or double tap gives us an ego boost called validation. We can use this for more than just discussing our relationships. It goes into all realms of accomplishments from pregnancies to getting married to buying a house and so much more.
Oversharing about stuff like this, however, is unhealthy and redundant. It’s something I did in my last relationship, where I detailed everything from the moment we met to our unfortunate breakup that I’m still not over to this day.
Long story short, I met a guy on Instagram that lived 3,000 miles away in California. I was against long-distance relationships, as they didn’t work for me in the past, however his charm and good looks kept me interested enough to see where this could go.
We started talking in late September but didn’t actually meet until about three months later. I began sharing several updates on my social media about him towards the beginning of us simply talking with one another. It got to the point where my friends kept asking me to post a photo of us together because they assumed that we had already met multiple times.
Except we hadn’t, but the love I felt from my friends (some of which are people I’ve never met, mind you) was encouraging and made me feel good. It’s sort of like this validation is a drug or vice that I relied on in order to get through the day.
This continued on throughout the course of my relationship with him. I’ll be the one to admit that my oversharing abilities got bad. Really, really bad. Embarrassing bad.
The guy I dated didn’t have Facebook, and we didn’t have any mutual friends which is odd in the gay community nowadays. I saw this platform as a safe space to talk about our relationship and details about it that he probably wouldn’t be cool with. Like telling my friends I was going to propose when I went to visit him again in February. And yes, I did an almost daily countdown as that was the plan.
Good god what a freaking idiot I was. Who does this? Seriously. But, that validation was once again that boost of joy that I needed as so many of my friends were ecstatic to see us taking it to the next level. Except it didn’t, the relationship crashed and burned the weekend that I was supposed to do the proposing and we broke up when I got back to New York.
It was then where my rose-colored glasses, which were practically glued on me during the duration of our short relationship, were taken off and I was finally able to see things clearly. One of those aspects included the copious amounts of times I talked about us on social media.
It’s unhealthy what i did, to say the least, when it came to how much I overshared about us on social media. Think of me as the kid who always had their hand raised in class, even when I didn’t know the question. In a way, I like my voice and I want it to be heard, even when it comes to spewing stupid crap about a guy I’m dating.
Moving forward, it’s easier to not talk about these things unless something concrete comes out of them like an engagement or wedding date or anniversary (long-term, not one month). To constantly talk about your relationship on social media otherwise is just unnecessary chatter that really has no healthy or good benefits in the long run.
My advice, and I’m taking this seriously now: go slow, enjoy the moment, keep it private, and open up when you really feel like you can. Not everybody needs to know your business like that, both on and off social.
This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other Contributing Writers.